To the Editor,
A proposed hydroelectric project, to be located on USFS land along East Rosebud Creek would not generate enough power to produce but a small amount of alternative energy.
The creek has very low water flows (often only ankle deep) during almost nine months of the year. At 6,000 feet elevation, the spring runoff begins sometime in May and by mid-August the mountain snowpack is almost entirely gone. A previous stream flow study concluded that such a project is not feasible.
Balance low electricity productivity with some of the negative consequences of the proposed project: creating very low water flow for at least two miles along the creek, raising water temperatures in the creek below the intake, blocking good access to the very productive trout spawning grounds that lie above the suggested intake, water pollution during the construction phase, new roads in the area, weed proliferation, negative visual impact, noise pollution, interference with animal migration and increased traffic in the area and it is obvious the proposal project is unacceptable.
The East Rosebud Canyon is a prime recreation spot for Billings and South Central Montana. It also attracts many visitors from across the nation. Use of this magnificent natural area for commercial development would have a negative impact on local economies which depend heavily on tourism, angling, camping, outfitting and climbing for their dollars.
We really can’t afford to allow this kind of assault on prime public recreation lands. Use of this area for corporate gain is not in the best interests of Montanans or the American public.
It is imperative to set aside these beautiful and remote areas for use by all and protect them for recreation for generations to come.
Hydrodynamics should abandon their proposal for this installation. Montanans get busy and stand against this use of your public lands!